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Quan’s Rebuttal to OOH Today

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Quan’s Rebuttal to OOH Today


Publisher’s note:
At OOH Today, we like to think we are fair and balanced. We believe in representing and extending to the ‘working’ people of OOH, a meaningful voice. Our post yesterday, Woof, Poor OOH Creative Turns into Lost Opportunity for Covid PSA Messaging regarding the AdWeek story Mischief Goes OOH for Second Wave of Vaccine, generated a number of comments from the Outdoor Industry, and all but one were in full support of our critique. In keeping with one of our basic tenants of giving a voice for the hard working people in the trenches, a contending comment comes from one of the primary participants in the AdWeek story, Quan Media Group’s Founder/CEO Brian Rappaport.

OOH Today has supported the growing Quan Media business in the past and anticipate will continue to do so in the future. Brian and I spoke on the phone yesterday and though neither one of us changed our positions, he requested an opportunity to rebut. We could relegate Brian’s comments to our ‘post comments’ section of our newsletter, or even choose not to accept any opposing comment and call it a day, as we have no obligation to do anything more. We genuinely welcome opposing responsible view points and are providing this prime space without censorship or edit for Brian Rappaport’s self titled, ‘Rebuttal to OOH Today‘. 


Rebuttal to OOH Today


by Brian Rappaport, Founder/CEO Quan Media Group

User generated content can be almost 10 times more influential than influencer content for consumers in their purchase decisions, according to Social Media Week.  Does it work the same for public service announcements?


The last eleven months have been tough for all of us, but we finally have a light at the end of the tunnel – vaccines.  Science has made it possible for all of us to look towards some kind of normal life, where you can hug friends, enjoy live music, not worry about home schooling, and enjoying a move in an actual theater.  The only way we get back to normal is if people get vaccinated. When a partner agency of Quan’s, Mischief @ No Fixed Address, asked us to help support a pro bono effort pushing forward this initiative, it was a no brainer.

The creative is in fact user generated content.  So many PSA’s toss out numbers, statistics, big blocky test, and we roll our eyes.  One of the creative messages for the OOH portion campaign shows a MASSIVE crowd at a music festival, hands raised, in gorgeous weather.  The text reads: “A: Because I miss standing room only, Q: Why will you get vaccinated?”  Another creative message shows a couple kissing, with the texting reading: “A: Because PDA needs a public, Q: Why will you get vaccinated?”  The television commercials airing show a future grandmother being handed a gift wrapped in a small blanket, it’s a sonogram image, and upon realizing she’s going to have a grandchild, she starts hysterically crying: “A: Because some people you just want to meet in person, A: Why will you get vaccinated?”

AdWeek said: “The PSA campaign from Mischief @ No Fixed Address is unbelievably pure and straightforward.”  CampaignUS calls the creative: emotionally-driven.  Lastly, The Marketing View’s lead writer said “I literally swooned when I saw Mischief’s recent vaccine awareness PSAs.”  OOH Today said: “Sadly, the OOH creative for this campaign is not very good. It misses on legibility. It’s tough to read the copy and the graphics are confusing” – and “ the creative makes it one big wasted investment of resources and lost opportunity for a very important message.”

The point of the creative is to showcase so many of the (once) ordinary things we took for granted.  It’s sitting with friends, going to a concert, going to the movies, graduating with your classmates.  These big images ARE the creative.  When you read the “Q & A” portion everything comes together.  Not sure what’s confusing about the graphics.  You see a crowd at a music festival – and the message is telling you that if you’d like to be in fun environments like this again, you should get vaccinated. You see people sitting in a movie theater, and it tells you to get vaccinated so we can go to movies in person again.  The image is meant to create confusion and questioning – but that’s immediately cleared up once you read the text.  Now is the font small for a roadside bulletin?  Sure, but we’re greatly appreciative of all space donated and who knows if someone is sitting in traffic staring at it?  In terms of reading the copy, 60-ish% of donated space for this campaign were large format, or street level digital units that you can stop and read.  Digital kiosks in Columbus, OH.  A massive digital spectacular in the Seaport in Boston.  Large format digital signage in malls and lifestyle centers across the United States. 

Saying that this is a big wasted investment of resources is a bit much, and quite frankly insulting.  We often strive for the trades to give OOH more love, and here’s a case where they do – and our own industry based site decides this would be a good time to go the opposite way.  What good does it cause?  There are a ton of media partners who offered up space as they saw the value in the message.  We’re reminding people across the country what life WAS – and how we can get back to that.  Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, and I’m sure there’s a contingent of OOH Today insiders that this campaign just didn’t resonate with.  That’s fine, I can respect that.  Calling the graphics confusing seems incorrect.  It’s very straight forward.  Tough to read the copy?  Reach out and ask where it’s posted.  Again, a speeding car may not catch the full message – but someone strolling around Downtown Denver will.  You said there was “so much opportunity to do better” – next time, throw out some ideas instead of just throwing out criticism.  We’re proud to have been a part of this. We think the creative – and messaging are pretty incredible. I guess one thing we can agree on here is agreeing to disagree. 

**Quan is a supporter of OOH Today**


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  1. Nick Coston says

    It’s important that media and advertising agencies stick together. So while reviewing these posts as well as the various copy thats running I say three things: Good for this agency for donating the space it brings attention to the issue; great tagline that viewers will remember and finally indeed the layout of the copy is far too small and way too busy to be as effective as it should be. But the cause is imperative and the effort behind it is exemplary. Make note I am always happy to look at copy and give pre-posting opinion as you all know the copy I’ve worked on for the last 20 years has been extremely successful.

  2. Patricia says

    If you can’t read the creative…it is a big miss. Wasted dollars, wasted space, waster opportunity to get the message out. I don’t think the argument is UGC, it’s how you failed to successfully use UGC.

    Also, ’10 times more influential’ sounds weak…. I like these stats (below) more and so do many advertisers, credible source over social media week…(!)

    “Nielsen found 92% of consumers trust UGC more than they trust traditional advertising. An IAB study found ads featuring UGC garnered 73% more positive comments on social networks versus traditional ads.”

  3. Brian says

    Hey Patricia

    How did the ad fail to use UGC? I think I agreed that the text should have been larger but thankfully many of the placements for this campaign were in walkable/pedestrian areas where you could very clearly read the message. No wasted dollars here – everything was donated and for that I’m super appreciative

  4. Mark Quinn says

    Got to love Mr Rappaport’s passion…even if it’s a bit misplaced.

    It will be interesting to see the results and lift on awareness.
    I think often times account guys/media buyers don’t want to have a creative conversation with an agency for fear of falling out of favor, or losing business. Maybe, Mischief is sooo important and powerful that he was unable to push back.

    Think about all the great creative Apple has done and the font or copy line isn’t BIG Blocky letters…and it works beautifully, because they know how to design. Not sure what Mischief has done before…that’s been good ooh?

  5. Tom Carroll says

    Dear Sir:

    Thank you for giving Mr. Rappaport a platform for his opposing view of the creative used for the COVID PSA out of home campaign. It’s refreshing to see a publication post an opposing opinion. In today’s world we don’t see enough rational discussions of different viewpoints.

    I can agree with 90% of Mr. Rappaport’s rebuttal. Yes, the message is “unbelievably pure and straightforward” and “emotionally driven.” The television ad he describes of the grandmother seeing a sonogram image must be terrific. I have no problem with the creative concept, but the execution is lacking on some of the OOH space. Mr. Rappaport himself calls out the issue I have with the OOH design. He states, “When you read the “Q & A” portion everything comes together.” That hits the nail on the head—you can’t read the copy on a roadside bulletin so nothing comes together! If you can’t read the copy, the graphics are confusing. Good designers design for the medium. You don’t use the same creative execution for a tv ad, a kiosk, and a bulletin.

    Taking Mr. Rappaport’s suggestion to offer an idea instead of just criticism, I recommend that he vet the PSA copy through outdoor advertising design experts before posting his next campaign. All the Big Three companies have outstanding creative departments. Eddy Herty, VP National Creative Director for OUTFRONT, is a genius. If the design execution is only failing on freeway bulletins, why not fix that design? I’m guessing some of the donated billboard space is digital. Reach out to a billboard design specialist and the improved copy could be running by the end of the week. Everyone in the OOH industry would like the trades to give us more love. When the trades give us a shot and we post illegible copy, we lose the opportunity for more business. “Billboard don’t work.” No, the design we posted didn’t work.

    The criticism of the roadside billboard designs should not diminish the appreciation of the work that Quan Media Group has invested in this campaign. When the message is seen by consumers, I’m hopeful that it will move them to aggressively seek vaccines when they are available.

    Keep up the good work!

    Tom Carroll
    Outdoor Advertising Solutions, LLC

  6. Patricia says

    Hey Brian,

    See Tom’s text…. “That hits the nail on the head—you can’t read the copy on a roadside bulletin so nothing comes together! If you can’t read the copy, the graphics are confusing. Good designers design for the medium. You don’t use the same creative execution for a tv ad, a kiosk, and a bulletin.”

    Don’t be mad at the readers for the missed opportunity!

  7. Brian Rappaport says

    Not mad Patricia….honestly don’t care.

    It was a pro bono effort. I liked the creative. Roadside didn’t work. Roadside was 40-50% of the campaign. I was in no position to influence creative. It is what it is.

    Thanks for all the input!!

  8. Nick Coston says

    Was all the creative that ran nationwide and digital screens only or was there any static? Also how long do the digital actually run for one day one week or just a space needed to be filled? Based on all the comments about the copy it be interesting to see just how many eyeballs saw the ads. I think when placing copy you you want to know how long it’s going to be up and that way you have a little more indication of how it should read. But I love the dialogue on here I think it’s good for everybody.

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